HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc1271-2
Q5. Mr. Carter

asked the Prime Minister what further plans he now has for making ministerial appointments.

The Prime Minister

Unless and until I make an announcement to the contrary, I do not propose to increase or reduce the number of Ministers in any Department, or to alter the present allocation of responsibilities to Departments.

Mr. Carter

Does that answer mean that the Prime Minister is satisfied with his ministerial staff who are dealing with unemployment? Is he aware that in Birmingham last month 263 Easter school-leavers went straight into the dole queue, joining 1,500 young people who were already there, and that, whereas nationally job vacancies rose last month, in Birmingham they fell?

The Prime Minister

What my answer means is that the action which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken is the largest reflation which any Government have ever undertaken and that the Central and West Midlands will benefit from it. I do not intend to try to achieve results by changing the governmental structure.

Mr. Redmond

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we in Lancashire are very satisfied with the new regional policies, particularly with the appointment of the Minister for Industrial Development, and that in spite of high unemployment there are some vacancies that are becoming difficult to fill?

The Prime Minister

Yes, the regional policy for Lancashire, Yorkshire and Humberside announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State should give more opportunities to those areas.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Are we to take it from the Prime Minister's original answer that he will not agree to the request of Herr Brandt to appoint another Minister to deal with European ques- tions, or does he intend to carry out Herr Brandt's suggestion?

The Prime Minister

The reply means exactly what I said, which is that unless and until I make an announcement to the contrary there will not be changes.